Business schools have different cultures, just like the branches of the military do. Teamwork is at the heart of Kellogg's culture, which makes Kellogg a great fit for veterans. The Kellogg Veterans Association is here to help you put your best self forward in your application.
If you're considering Kellogg, please reach out to us--especially if you plan to visit the campus. We can give you a candid perspective of the school, help you prepare your application, arrange for you to attend the classes you're interested in, and coordinate meeting professors who can help answer your questions. We might also be able to arrange for you to stay with a current KVA students so you don't have to stay in a hotel. Please give us a head's up about two weeks before you arrive, so we can prepare a great visit for you. See the Sofas for Soldiers information block below for more information.
KVA ADMISSIONS POINTS OF CONTACT
APPLICATION FEE WAIVER
Please note the following concerning the waiver of the application fee ($250)
The Kellogg School will grant an application fee waiver for candidates on active duty military status or U.S. military veterans who have been on active duty within three years of applying. Candidates who qualify for an application fee waiver must submit a formal request via e-mail and provide supporting evidence of their military status. Military applicants should submit a copy of a valid military ID card or Form DD-214 to verify active duty status within three years of applying.
Essays There's no standard approach to essays because the point is to be absolutely authentic. But all good essays have these key ingredients:
Reflection Reflect on your most defining experiences and articulate how they impacted you and what you learned about yourself. Great accomplishments are great (and should be mentioned), but they don't set you apart from the ten thousand other really accomplished applicants. Kellogg admissions really wants to hear more about you than your accomplishments. Elaborate on the journey and focus on how your experiences define who you are today. (By the way, this applies equally to failures--which often make for great stories as well).
Vision Provide a compelling vision for the future. Don't be grandiose or use flowery language. Do be articulate and logical. Do dream big (our motto is Think Bravely... your vision should live up to that standard). Use your past experiences to lay the foundation for your vision. There should be a direct link between something in your past and your vision for your future, so the reader understands why you're motivated by this vision.
Authenticity This is the most important ingredient. Be as candid as possible. Demonstrate your self-awareness and emotional intelligence through great "character-based" stories. "Character-based" stories don't just describe the circumstances, but they describe people's emotions, thoughts, motivations, passions, etc... and they show that you understand people (including yourself). This speaks volumes about your ability to work on a team, which is exactly what Kellogg admissions wants from us. This will require a lot of reflection, so start writing early.
Interview This is an exercise in storytelling, so everything recommended above (in the essays section) applies here as well. Additionally, you should be aware of these points:
Kellogg interviews every candidate because we emphasize our ability to communicate effectively and be socially adept. The interviewer will evaluate you on whether they would like to go to school with you, be on a team with you, and work with you. Keep that in mind as you're interacting with your interviewer.
Your interviewer will probably not have read your essays. So feel free to recycle those stories, BUT make sure you're answering the question that is asked. Do not recite a canned story that almost answers the question. Your interviewer is evaluating your ability to communicate in a personal setting just as much as the content of your story.
Your interviewer is unlikely to have been in the military and may ask a lot of questions about the military. Remember this interview is about you, not about the military. Avoid elaborating on military culture and always drive the story back to you as an individual.
Recommendations First, don't just get the highest ranking officer you know to write you a recommendation--because it means nothing if it's impersonal. Your recommenders should have worked with you on a frequent basis. Direct supervisors and peers make great recommenders, although subordinates are usually inappropriate. Consider using recommenders from different points in your career to show consistent personal growth over time (i.e., one from your first assignment and one from a more recent assignment). Discuss your essays with them. They should understand the story that you're trying tell in your essays, so the recommendations and essays are complementary. Do provide anecodotal support as needed, but do not tell your recommender what to write.
Resume We have posted some of our resume bullets for you to view. Use them as an example on how to translate military experience into resume bullets that are appropriate for a business school application.
Air Force Intelligence Officer
Air Force Acquisitions Officer
Army Infantry Officer
Army Armor Officer
Marine Corps Infantry Officer
Marine Corps Artillery Officer
Navy Fighter Pilot
Navy Surface Warfare Officer Coming Soon!!!
GPA Your undergrad is behind you, so let it go. If you have a sub-median GPA, that's okay. Half of us are in the same boat. But if you have specific weaknesses in quantitative subjects (e.g., calculus, statistics, finance), consider taking a community college course so you can demonstrate your ability to handle the coursework.
GMAT Scoring at the median or above is great, but scoring below the median shouldn't discourage you. The bottom line is that you need to prove you're a smart person who can handle the quantitative rigor of business school--so the admissions committee considers the GMAT along with your GPA to determine your academic preparedness. It's okay to take this exam more than once if you don't reach the median the first time--but consider taking a prep course before you take the GMAT for the second time. After you're satisfied with your score, don't continue taking the test. At this point, it's really much more important to focus on the qualitative portions of the application--as demonstrated in essays and the interview (think of the GMAT as a key to getting your foot in the door, but the essays and interview will get you on the dance floor). Fortunately, the qualitative portions are also where many veterans excel--and we can offer the most assistance with those.
CLASS OF 2015 PROFILE
In case you're wondering how the vets of 2015 stack up, we've included a class profile of veteran students from the 2YMBA Class of 2015.
Veteran applicants and admitted students who are planning to visit campus may be able to stay with a current KVA student. We hope this defrays some of the cost of visiting campus while also giving you a more authentic Kellogg experience, so you can make a well informed decision when choosing business schools. Please email Sam Drake or Gordon Shu at least two weeks before you plan to arrive. Of course we cannot guarantee there will always be an available couch, but we'll do our best to help out fellow vets.